What are the Best Telecaster Bridge Pickups for Blues?

blues telecaster pickupsGreat Blues tone is just an upgrade away. If you are a Telecaster player looking for the best Blues pickups, the below list should point you in the right direction.

Many people think of the Fender Telecaster as a country or rock guitar but the Tele is actually quite good for playing the blues. Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Albert Lee, and many other great blues players played a Telecaster. The combination of the biting, gritty, bridge pickup mixed with the warm, smooth tone of the neck pickup really work together to create the perfect instrument for playing the blues. Right now, we’re going to talk about swapping out the bridge pickup on the Tele for an aftermarket pickup specifically designed with the blues guitarist in mind.

We’ll discuss the differences between each, and what makes them great for creating a blues tone. The pickups in the bridge position of the Tele are known to be pretty twangy so in this post we will likely be looking to fatten up the sound just a bit. We’ll probably be looking at higher output pickups as well, since stock pickups don’t normally put out the higher gain that gets us a better crunch out of our amp, when we’re playing blues. Sound is what matters most though, so you’ll have to listen to the examples of each of these yourself to make the best choice.

Lindy Fralin Blues Special TelecasterLindy Fralin Blues Special Telecaster

The Fralin Blues Special Telecaster pickups are a great choice for upgrading your Telecaster guitar. They give the bridge pickup a thicker, more full-bodied sound while reducing the treble just a little. These pickups use a beveled ALNICO V magnet for a tighter low end and smoother highs. more…

Seymour Duncan STK-T3b Vintage Stack Telecaster Bridge PickupSeymour Duncan STK-T3b Vintage Stack Telecaster Bridge Pickup

The Seymour Duncan STK-T3b Vintage Stack Telecaster Bridge Pickup, as the name suggests, is a stacked pickup. A stacked pickup is one pickup physically placed on top of another, giving it humbucking qualities such as noise cancelling, while still fitting into a single coil spot. more…

Lindy Fralin Split Steel Poled Tele BridgeLindy Fralin Split Steel Poled Tele Bridge

The Lindy Fralin Split Steel Poled Tele Bridge pickup is a direct replacement for the stock pickups in your Telecaster and you won’t have to make any modifications to the guitar itself. This is a split steel poled pickup, i.e., two coils sitting side by side. more…

Seymour Duncan STL-3 Quarter Pound Telecaster Bridge PickupSeymour Duncan STL-3 Quarter Pound Telecaster Bridge Pickup

The Seymour Duncan STL-3 Quarter Pound Telecaster Bridge Pickup is the company’s highest output pickup available for the Telecaster. The pickup gets its name from its over-sized quarter-inch ALNICO 5 magnets, which are responsible for the great gain that these pickups produce. The hand-polished large-diameter magnets also allow for a special coil winding. more…

DiMarzio Pre B-1 Telecaster Bridge PickupDiMarzio Pre B-1 Telecaster Bridge Pickup

The DiMarzio Pre B-1 Telecaster Bridge Pickup is a high-output pickup that was specially designed to play the blues way back in 1978. It’s a passive pickup with no cover, and it’s a direct replacement for the stock Tele pickup, requiring no guitar modifications and just a few tools. more…

3 Replies to “What are the Best Telecaster Bridge Pickups for Blues?”

  1. Come on…. you have to have reference to more than 2 brand of pickups otherwise you’re just advertising. I can think of numerous great sounding pickups that aren’t SDs or LFs to substantiate a great blues sound.
    Disappointed in this very suspect subjective opinion.

  2. Thank you for your comment Franco.

    This is very subjective stuff and we can’t please everyone. We hope that guitarists who are looking for some suggestions will find this post helpful.

    Please feel free to share the name of a few of your “…numerous great sounding pickups that aren’t SDs or LFs”. We’d love to look into them and potentially feature them in this article!

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